President Obama is taking a hard line with congressional Republicans heading into negotiations over the year-end “fiscal cliff,” making no opening concessions and calling for far more in new taxes than Republicans have so far been willing to consider.
Obama plans to open talks using his most recent budget proposal, which sought to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy by $1.6 trillion over the next decade, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday. That’s double the sum that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) offered Obama during secret debt negotiations in 2011.
Although Republicans have offered fresh revenue in a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, they have not proposed a specific target. Boehner suggested that negotiations resume on terms discussed in 2011, when he offered to raise $800 billion over the next decade through a rewrite of the tax code. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed that general idea Tuesday but warned Obama not to overplay his hand, noting that the president’s $1.6 trillion tax request failed to receive a single vote in Congress in the spring.